Routine downloading and filing tasks in DEVONThink

Cross posted from

I’ve worked out a workflow with DEVONThink that moves about 30 recurring tasks out of OmniFu. Decluttering is always good.

I had recurring tasks set up in OmnFu for about 30 recurring statements or bills (I manage finances for family members also). The task for each is to open the URL for the document, log in and download the file. Hazel then names the file appropriately and moves the document into DEVONThink. DEVONThink rules are set up to move the document to the final resting place. Each document is filed in a Group. I prefer having the current year documents in the root of the Group, then in January, I move the older documents to an archive under that same Group.

Since DEVONThink is always involved anyway, I entered the url for each document in the Group parent (top level folder) with an date to trigger an “alarm”. The alarm result can be “Load URL”, so when that date & time roll around, DEVONThink loads the URL in Safari in a new tab. The next time I sit down at the “always on” Mac, I’m ready to download the documents. After I initiate the download, the rest of the process is automated.

It felt pretty good to delete 1/3 of my recurring tasks! Or technically speaking, I moved the tasks to a more efficient place.

P.S. Mac only. DEVONThink To Go doesn’t support this.


I use Devonthink to store/organize all my tasks

30 recurring statements or bills…Group…due date

For me, no groups; and any note may be marked actionable
I use custom meta-data for due-date
and the label feature for status (pending/active/completed/…)

My task list (to-do list) is a filtered note list
A script exports the list to a spreadsheet for a gantt calendar view
This process runs on the Mac; the spreadsheet is stored in Devonthink and syncs to all my devices

recurring tasks

On completion, I use a script that adjusts the due-date and status

so when that date & time roll around, DEVONThink loads the URL in Safari in a new tab

I’d prefer to manually trigger the process; when I’m prepared to act on the task

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This is a great bit of automation, thank you for sharing it!

I did a less sophisticated DEVONThink for GTD setup years ago because all the tools are there for sure. But I ended up on Kinkless for OmniOutliner instead.

Also, most important; all my notes are there

I’m sure a dedicated task management product provides more “sophistication”,
but which features are most important to you?
For me, it’s the filtered task list view

Thanks for sharing this!

Can you share what Hazel is doing with the download, re: renaming the file?

I had existing rules in Hazel that handled the specifics of each document to dig out the date I wanted in the file name. For example, a credit card statement might have three dates in this order: Due date, Period beginning date, Period ending date. So 1/20/23, 12/1/22, 12/31/22. I want the third date to be harvested and reformatted in the name of the file. Hazel allows me to specific the 3rd instance of text that looks like a date. I don’t think DEVONThink gives me that choice, but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

I don’t think DEVONThink gives me that choice, but I’m happy to be proven wrong.

It’s theoretically possible but obviously depends on the content of the specific document.

When I said I did a less sophisticated DT for GTD setup, I meant compared to your setup. Without AppleScript, adjusting dates realities was input intensive.

I have used OmniFocus since it was launched. I found the easy filtering via Perspectives to be very useful when I was working and had a multitude of different projects going on at once. In the last two weeks, I am evaluating Things. I retired two and a half years ago and have more control over my day compared to when I was working. Now OmniFocus seems to be overkill.